5 passengers and a pilot died after the seaplane they were travelling in crashed into the Hawkesbury River in Sydney’s north.
The aircraft crashed into the waters of Jerusalem Bay near Cowan around 30km north of Sydney harbour.
NSW Police confirmed in a statement all six people on board the aircraft were killed when it crashed into the water at around 3:15pm on Sunday.
“Police divers are on scene and the six bodies have now been recovered from the wreckage,” the statement said. “Police will work with Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) investigators as inquiries into the crash continue.”
The British Foreign Office has said it is in contact with local authorities, indicating British citizens may have been on board the plane.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter responded to the first reports of the crash and located the area after seeing debris and an oil slick.
They were soon joined by NSW Police, police divers, NSW Ambulance and Marine Rescue NSW. The plane remains 13 metres below water, and the Australia Transport Safety Bureau is expected to arrive on Monday.
The managing director of Sydney Seaplanes, Aaron Shaw, confirmed one pilot and five passengers had been aboard the plane.
“We do not yet know the cause of the accident. We are dedicating our full resources in assisting the NSW Police, the Australian Transport Safety Board, Civil Aviation Safety Authority and other relevant authorities to understand the cause of the accident,” Shaw said in a statement.
The company has suspended all operations until further notice.
Seaplane flights around Sydney Harbour and the nearby attractions is a popular tourist activity.
— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) December 31, 2017
A report will be prepared for the Coroner.
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